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Tonawanda Police deny racism accusation by Ying's owner

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The Town of Tonawanda police chief is denying allegations of racism against his department by the owner of a popular restaurant.

Chief Anthony Palombo, on Wednesday, addressed accusations made by the owner of Ying's Wings & Things at the Sheridan/Eggert plaza. Jimmy Ying told the media police used racial slurs against teenage African-American patrons who were attending a non-alcohol party at the restaurant following a shooting outside the business over the weekend.

"That's absolutely not true," Palombo said.

Ying also accuses police of trying to shut down his business to keep minorities out. But Palombo says Ying has taken no responsibility when police responded to violent teenage parties at his business in the past.

Palombo calls Ying's claims "ridiculous."

"He has actually locked the door in their face and refused to come out and address the issue. That's what we're dealing with. I resent, both personally and for my police department, the accusation that what we do is racially motivated. We absolutely do not operate that way," Palombo said.

Two other citizens have also made separate claims of racial profiling by town police, but Palombo says those individuals were question based on "legitimate police operations."

Palombo said he doesn't want to see the restaurant go out of business.

"What I would like him to do is assume responsibility and to run a business that's not going to cause injury to his patrons and to our citizens," Palombo said.